Tuesday, March 4, 2014

It's a Bunny Bonanza

Ever since this latest rainstorm moved through our area, the bunnies and ground squirrels have been out in droves and mating all over the place.  We've also got hummingbirds and butterflies again.  It's only a matter of time before the snakes start making their appearances.  I can't wait.  I don't like having to walk on eggshells when the snakes are migrating, but it's cool to see them before they see me, or at least before I step on them.

I've watched several coyotes come into the yard and drink out of the water bowl I keep filled for them.  They drink just a couple of feet from the horses, and the horses are never startled by them.  It's so nice to see my horses coexisting with the wildlife peacefully.  I think my neighbors back in Nevada made my horses nuts by always spooking them while stalking me, because the horses were afraid of everything back then.  I remember the horses trying to kick through the walls of their stalls when deer were passing through, and one time Gabbrielle plowed me down while escaping from a domestic rabbit that got loose from someone's home and ended up on my RV lane.

This weekend I saw a hawk chasing one of my ravens, trying to steal some meat out of its mouth.  I wish I could get pictures of all of these things, but I find that when I am so focused on my camera, I miss being able to really observe the wildlife and learn something from it.

Countdown 24 hours until the dog kennel arrives.  Then I get to assemble it.  I actually got a chance to vacuum the carpet for the first time since we got the puppy, and his reaction to the vacuum cleaner was to charge it while barking and then run away before it could touch him.  I decided not to correct the behavior, because it's better than what Midge does.  Midge runs into the room where I am vacuuming and lays down right in front of me so that I can't clean the carpet without picking her up and moving her.  However, Scrappy decided that he didn't like it when Stewie barked and chased the vacuum cleaner, and he attacked him.  Of course, Stewie didn't hear Scrappy coming, and he was so shocked by the attack that he stayed clear after that and kept his mouth shut.  Sometimes it's nice having older, more experienced dogs and horses handling the discipline of the young ones on my behalf, especially when no one actually gets hurt.

Scrappy isn't a grumpy old man all the time.  Sometimes he plays with the puppy by chasing him around the house.  It kind of scares me, because Scrappy has a heart murmur, but I don't want to stop him because he's having so much fun.  The puppy is much faster and can lap Scrappy several times.  It's hilarious watching Scrappy looking around in his half-blind deafness, trying to figure out where the puppy went, only to have Stewie race up from behind him and poke him while he passes.

It's weird having Scrappy and Stewie's names both beginning in S, because sometimes when I have to yell at them, I accidentally yell the name "Screwy".

Midge is the perfect babysitter.  She wrestles the puppy until he passes out.  I feel bad for her, because the puppy knows that Midge is crippled in one leg, and he takes full advantage of it by biting her there.  She's a good sport, though, and she seems to have control of the situation.  If the puppy bites too hard, she corrects him and he settles down.

I haven't done much with the horses lately beyond grooming the mud off of them and feeding them.  I've been busy with a slew of appointments and handling tax paperwork.  Oh, and of course, scrubbing stains out of the carpet.  The campers are still next door, and they have discovered the joy of sitting up on the bluff looking down into my backyard, so every time I go outside I have an audience.  I'm sure they are enjoying the wildlife just as much as I am, but I'm looking forward to getting my privacy back when they leave.

Today I took the dogs out to do their business, and I was trying to correct them for pulling me in opposite directions, for eating sticks and rocks instead of getting down to business, and for trying to chase rabbits.  Suddenly, the woman camper cleared her throat to let me know that she was sitting just a few yards away from me.  I guess she thought I must be crazy for talking to my dogs or something.  I had to bite my tongue to keep from saying, "I don't give a damn if I'm disturbing your vacation.  I've got to get these dogs potty trained.  You try scrubbing stains out of your carpet every five minutes and see how sane you can be!"

The house they are visiting used to be the original house on our property, but the previous owners sold it along with one of their five acres, and built a new house -- the one we are living in -- and kept it on the remaining four acres.  So, anyone who comes to that house is always looking into our backyard, which is L-shaped and wraps around their house.  We are thinking that if the house ever goes up for sale, we will buy it and re-consolidate the five acres... along with our privacy, and the privacy of whomever might buy the houses and land after us.  We'll just call the second house a mother-in-law's quarters.  In a world where land owners are parceling out to make more money, I want to do the opposite, because I suspect some day, people will pay a good price for privacy and space once they've all experienced being crammed together in subdivisions that were once farmland.


Water Girl said...

I have to admit, I snorted a little when you said the lady tried to get you to stop talking when SHE was disturbing YOUR privacy. It's amazing how self-centered and ignorant people can be. While it's rude and incredibly annoying, especially on a day to day basis (trust me, i feel your pain), but there are moments when it just becomes so ridiculous you have to laugh a little. I hope the kennel works well for you. It's so nice when your animals can be independent and give you a break…at least for a little while.

Tina said...

I hate to say it but that is what I am currently doing on my road. We bought the one house then bought the house next door, moved into and my in-laws are moving into the first house. Now the house on the other side of me is coming up for sale so we are thinking about buying it and just having my sister rent it from us for the price of the payments. I live on Sand Mountain in Alabama. If you look on the internet, the mountain is nicknamed Meth Mountain and there is actually a documentary about it. So we are choosing to control our surroundings and neighbors the best that we can...lol!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Water Girl - I feel bad for the dogs, because Midge, in particular, is used to being able to spend hours outside at our old house, and I know she would love to just lay down and sniff the breeze without being rushed because I have somewhere I have to be. I really hope this kennel works out and doesn't cause more problems.

Tina - Wow! Our area was nicknamed the "Meth Capital of the World", but I really haven't seen much evidence of that anymore. It's mainly a retirement location and a tourist destination. There are a lot of mobile homes, but that's just because the retirees can't afford to keep paying mortgages on a smaller income.

I had planned to buy the house next door to us in Nevada, but the weirdos next door never moved out. I gave up and moved my family to escape the non-stop intrusions from those neighbors. I don't have much more privacy here, but at least the neighbors are normal and not a threat. They just don't give me my space, and some of them can be both nosy and noisy.

It's unnerving living in a bowl with people perched up on bluffs surrounding your property looking down at you. I wish I had noticed the layout and recognized the problems that come with it while house hunting. Also, I innocently thought all the mobile homes and campers I saw belonged to the homeowners, who used them to vacation elsewhere. It never occurred to me that these were additional families living on my neighbors' properties vacationing here.